Phoenix police chief fires officer accused of assaulting suspect
PHOENIX – Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams fired a veteran officer accused of assaulting a handcuffed shoplifting suspect, a department spokesman said Friday.
Tim Baiardi’s termination became official Wednesday, Sgt. Tommy Thompson told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email.
In May, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed an aggravated assault charge against Baiardi after he was caught on surveillance cameras slapping and hitting suspect Roger Moran at a west Phoenix Walmart in December 2018.
On July 23, Baiardi agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, avoiding prison time with a sentence of unsupervised probation, according to ABC15.
A court hearing on the plea agreement is scheduled for Aug. 30.
Before accepting the deal, Baiardi pleaded not guilty to the aggravated assault charge on June 13.
Baiardi, who was with the department for 17 years, was working security off-duty at the store near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road when the incident occurred.
The video showed Moran, a 22-year-old homeless man, seated with his hands cuffed behind him when Baiardi slapped him across the face with enough force to send him off the side of the bench.
Baiardi also kneed Moran, who was accused of stealing pants, two to three times and punched him four to five times, police said after watching the video.
Baiardi, a former board member for the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, had been on administrative leave while the incident was under investigation.